(Photo Credit: CactusChicago.com)

(Photo Credit: CactusChicago.com)

Cactus Bar and Grill

404 S. Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60607

Cactus Bar and Grill will hold their fifth annual Crawfish Eating Contest for Charity on Tuesday, February 17 at 6:30 p.m. This fun, Fat Tuesday event encourages competitors to consume three pounds of crawfish in the fastest amount of time possible. The participation fee is $20 per person, which includes an official Cactus Crawfish Contest t-shirt, all you can eat crawfish, and a Hurricane cocktail served in a souvenir glass. All proceeds from the event (including the entrance fee) will benefit K9 4 KEEPS, a Chicago-based volunteer dog rescue.

Contestants will be divided into heats, and the winner of each heat will compete in the final round. The first place competitive eater will be awarded a $100 gift certificate to Cactus Bar and Grill; the second place winner will receive a “Hurricanes at Home” gift basket; and the third place participant will win a cooler stocked with Abita beer. Plenty of Mardi Gras accessories, such as beads and masks, will be passed out to the crowd. To reserve a spot in the crawfish competition, please visit CactusChicago.com.

In addition, Cactus will feature Mardi Gras menu specials from February 17-20, with $1 from each drink/dish benefiting K9 4 KEEPS. Drink specials include pints of Abita Mardi Gras Bock ($6);Lakefront Brewing Big Easy Maibock ($6); 3 Floyd’s Zombie Dust ($7); and Hurricanes served in a souvenir glass ($9 with glass; $7 without). Chef Glenn Pistorio will offer a variety of New Orleans themed dishes, such as Chicken and Sausage Gumbo ($5 cup/$7 bowl); Catfish Po’ Boy sandwich ($12); Seafood Etouffee ($12); and Crawfish Boil Platter ($12). The complete menu is outlined below. 

Commonwealth Tavern

2000 W Roscoe Street
Chicago, IL 60618

Commonwealth Tavern will celebrate Fat Tuesday with $3 Hurricanes and an $8 Gumbo special created by Chef Donny Farrell.


1072 North Milwaukee
Chicago, IL 60642

Frontier celebrates Fat Tuesday with an authentic Louisiana shrimp boil on Tuesday, February 17 at 6 p.m. For $33 per person, guests will enjoy an all-you-can-eat shrimp boil complete with potatoes and corn as well as complimentary King Cake. Frontier will feature additional food and drink specials including $10 Red Beans and Rice, $13 Shrimp Po’boys, $5 Hurricanes, $6 Sazeracs, and $4 Abitas. Seating is first-come, first-served, and tickets can be purchased at http://www.thefrontierchicago.com/events-tickets.


1925 W Cortland
Chicago, IL 60622

Lottie’s invites guests to celebrate Mardi Gras with themed drink specials and menu items. On Fat Tuesday, February 17, Lottie’s will host a FREE brand sampling with Abita and prize giveaway. Featured specials include; $5 20-ounce Hurricanes, $5 20-ounce Hand Grenades, $4 Abita pints and $7 Jambalaya.

Nacional 27

325 W. Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60654

What better time to sip and savor a hurricane cocktail than during Mardi Gras season? On Thursday, February 19, learn how to create the popular N’awlins libation at Nacional 27. Beverage Manager Elyse Fuller will lead a Hurricane Cocktail Class in the lounge from 6-8 p.m., featuring a welcome flute of prosecco, Hurricane cocktail instruction (light rum, dark rum, orange juice, lime juice, passion fruit, simple syrup and grenadine), and light tapas. The participation fee of $27 includes recipe cards to take home.

To sign up for the class, visit N27Chicago.com.

(Photo Credit: theponychicago.com)

(Photo Credit: theponychicago.com)

The Pony

1638 West Belmont
Chicago, IL 60657

Now through Tuesday, February 17th The Pony will celebrate Mardi Gras with menu specials like $7 Jambalaya created by New Orleans native, Pioneer Tavern Group Corporate Chef Brian Jupiter. Featured drink specials include $5 22-ounce Pony Punch Hurricanes and $4 Abita pints.

Lauren Wulf LaRoche, CBS Chicago

Lauren Wulf LaRoche writes about living in Chicago on a budget on her website, A Poor Girl’s Guide Chicago.